James takes aim at Trump as King remembered

first_imgJames, who has been a prominent social activist in recent years, added: “We are in a difficult state right now as Americans as well with the leader of our country.“But us, like I said, no matter the religion, no matter the shapes and sizes, we all have to continue to come together and shine a brighter light on… I don’t want to use the word stupidity, but that’s basically what it comes down to,” he said.Warriors coach Steve Kerr, meanwhile, also spoke about the significance of playing on the Martin Luther King national holiday.“I love what it means for the NBA and the country,” he said. “It’s become a great day for the NBA because we celebrate basketball, but what we’re really celebrating is equality and inclusion which is what the NBA represents.”Share on: WhatsApp Los Angeles, United States | AFP | Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James aimed fresh criticism at US President Donald Trump on Monday as the NBA joined millions of Americans in remembering the legacy of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King.Speaking to reporters ahead of the Cavs’ prime-time clash with the Golden State Warriors later on Monday, James paid tribute to slain icon King while simultaneously accusing Trump of fueling divisions.James, who described Trump as a “bum” last September after the US leader said the NBA champion Warriors would not be welcome at the White House, said the former reality television star had emboldened racists.“The state of racism will never die, but what we cannot do is allow it to conquer us as people,” James told reporters following the Cavs shootaround.“We can’t allow it to divide us… The guy in control has given people and racism, and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear.”last_img read more

Africa football boss wants Europe to back Morocco World Cup bid

first_img– Shake up –Last week the head of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, promised French backing, praising Morocco’s development and saying Africa deserved another World Cup given the quantity of talented players emerging from the continent.Ahmad said CAF was supporting the five African teams who have qualified to take part in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, offering them financial and material support.“We were part of the preparation, we can say that it was with a modest sum of money, but these are our means,” he said. “We contributed as much as $500,000 (about 407,000 euro) per team.”Looking ahead to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN), he said that the host nation Cameroon is expected to overcome problems with preparations, including delays on building work on stadiums. He said an official report on the issues was being drawn up.“But we have always said that seeing the will of the president (Paul Biya), everyone is going to get on with it and go ahead.“So far, I believe that is what will materialise. How do I not believe in a head of state. Where politics goes, all must follow.”For the first time, the 2019 CAN will be expanded from 16 teams to 24 and will be held in the northern hemisphere summer, rather than in the winter.“That’s what people want,” said Ahmad, referring to the 24-team draw and the summer kick-off.“For me, I have a management principle: if I’m elected it is to respond to the expectations of the stakeholders, be it the federations, the players, the coaches.“To be in harmony with their mandate, you have to satisfy people at your base. And I think it’s justified, legitimate because there are some countries emerging in the football world that are about to shake up the established nations of African football.”He said that the switch to summer was not fixed in stone and could be adapted for future tournaments.Share on: WhatsApp Cairo, Egypt | AFP | The head of African football, Ahmad Ahmad, has urged Europe to back Morocco’s drive to host the 2026 World Cup, in return for African support for a future European bid.In an exclusive interview with AFP, Ahmad Ahmad, the Confederation of African Football president, appealed to European self-interest, saying: “Vote for us and we’ll vote for you next time.”Morocco is a two-horse race against a rival united bid from the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The decisive vote will take place at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13, one day ahead of the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.In a wide-ranging discussion, Ahmad, who replaced long-serving Issa Hayatou as head of CAF in March 2017, spoke of the importance of Africa’s bid to host the World Cup for only the second time, as well as significant changes that will shake up next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).He said Africa and CAF stood solidly behind Morocco’s bid to organise the 2026 World Cup, which will come 16 years after South Africa staged the tournament.“Being in Africa while this is happening, standing ahead of this objective (the World Cup) I think that Africans, whether francophone or anglophone… it’s in the continent’s interest,” he said.“The World Cup has an enormous impact for Africa. Why? Because it inspires hope for many young Africans.”Ahmad said he was working to win backing from European nations for Morocco’s candidacy, saying that any support would be reciprocal.He added that a Moroccan World Cup would offer significant advantages to Europe.“Time zones, distance, fans, they are all of interest to Europe,” as opposed to the united North American bid.“Visa also: Europeans don’t need a visa to come to Morocco. For all of that, we think that Europe should vote for Morocco.”last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY, NOV. 6, 2016

first_imgNorberto Arroyo, Jr.9818141418%47%$763,758 Tyler Baze9718101319%42%$745,155 ESPINOZA PONDERS WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEENVictor Espinoza was back on the beat at Santa Anita Sunday morning after having the chance to sleep on California Chrome’s harrowing half-length defeat by Arrogate in the Classic. Immediately after the race, while still astride California Chrome, he told an on-track interviewer that perhaps he should have moved sooner on America’s Horse.Sunday morning, he had second thoughts.“When you lose, you think too much, going over in your mind what you might have done differently,” he said. “I could have done that, I could have done this, but at the end of the day, if I moved early, I still might have lost. Then I’m thinking, no, maybe I should have waited longer.“It’s one of those things; Chrome ran a big race. You can’t think too much about the fact that he got beat.“The crowd was awesome, all the Chromies were here to see him and support him. The most important thing is he came out of the race safe and sound and we’ll go for the next one.”Noted 84-year-old Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally on Espinoza’s post-race interview: “It was the only time I ever saw Victor not smiling.”All in all, however, Espinoza took it in stride, and perhaps channeled his “inner Yogi Berra,” saying, “When you lose, you can’t win.” Joseph Talamo60910315%37%$394,075 Jerry Hollendorfer535769%34%$681,500 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Gary Stevens3756914%54%$1,587,990 Rafael Bejarano11221261319%54%$1,449,008 Mark Glatt35761020%66%$325,261 Eddie Truman1441329%57%$107,675 Peter Eurton2342317%39%$251,049 William Spawr1553133%60%$134,358 MEMORABLE BREEDERS’ CUP AT SANTA ANITAAnd so it came to pass that in the 77th year of racing at the storied venue known as Santa Anita Park, on the occasion of the 33rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships occurring for an unprecedented ninth time at The Great Race Place, there was a Race for the Ages, not once, but twice.Friday, Nov. 4, 4:42 p.m.: Beholder and Songbird, together champions four times over, waged a stretch-long battle that at the end of nine furlongs was separated by a scant nose, the photo finish picture making it appear even slimmer than it did live, with the six-year-old and three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder under 53-year-old Gary Stevens handing the two-year-old female champion of 2015 Songbird her first defeat after 11 straight dominating victories under 51-year-old Mike Smith.Saturday, Nov. 5, 5:45 p.m.: the reigning alpha male, California Chrome, and Arrogate, the “Now Horse,” in a deep-stretch dogfight won by Arrogate, who was a half-length in front after a mile and a quarter in the $6 million Classic. (Arrogate earned a Beyer Speed figure of 120, while Chrome got a career-high 119).Arrogate and Songbird have their futures ahead of them. They will race again next year. For Beholder and Chrome, their future is their past. The breeding farm awaits both.This was racing. This was the Breeders’ Cup. This was Santa Anita. This was the Sport of Kings. This was Doc Strub, Shoemaker, Longden, Arcaro and George Woolf. It was Whittingham, McAnally, Lukas, Frankel and Farrell Jones.It was Seabiscuit, Round Table, Affirmed and Spectacular Bid. It was John Henry, Best Pal, Winning Colors and Swaps.It was the joy of victory for Arrogate’s trainer Bob Baffert after the Classic, and the agony of defeat for Chrome’s trainer Art Sherman.Baffert, winning his third straight Breeders’ Cup Classic, was magnanimous in victory, crediting Chrome and his multitude of fanatics for attracting a crowd of 72,811 to Santa Anita on Saturday, the highest single-day attendance for a Breeders’ Cup since the event switched to a two-day format.He was right, of course. Chrome was the magnet, the headliner, the marquee performer, the horse that packed the house.But it was the Distaff and the Classic that lived up to pre-race billing and beyond. For Beholder in victory and California Chrome in defeat, their stature will only grow.As Tolkien wrote in Lord of the Rings, “History became legend. Legend became myth.” JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Martin Pedroza78105313%23%$327,384 Kent Desormeaux761981425%54%$833,135 Peter Miller691611623%48%$571,300 Tiago Pereira7189111%25%$348,505 (Current Through Friday, Nov. 4) Carla Gaines1741224%41%$235,770center_img Mike Smith2756419%56%$1,346,205 Robert Hess, Jr.2042420%50%$141,755 BREEDERS’ CUP NO. 33 IS ONE FOR THE AGESESPINOZA PONDERS WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEENCONGRATULATIONS TO PAPA JOE TALAMO TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Fernando Perez561131020%43%$315,800 Mario Gutierrez5156910%39%$488,055 Jeff Mullins1540327%47%$126,290 Flavien Prat10016171516%48%$1,359,148 Gary Sherlock1752129%47%$142,590 Mike Puype2741115%22%$135,960 BREEDERS’ CUPLETS:Richard Mandella said Beholder came out of Friday’s memorable Distaff triumph fine, “she’ll have a few days to settle down, then we’ll send her to the farm (of owner B. Wayne Hughes) in Kentucky.”Asked if he had a time agenda, Mandella, hoping to savor every last minute with his thrice champion mare, said, “I’ll take all the time I can. I’ll be like the guy in prison waiting for the Governor to call with a reprieve.”Jerry Hollendorfer reported that Songbird, who suffered her first defeat by an excruciating nose to Beholder in the Distaff, “will get a little break now. She’ll go to Kentucky at WinStar for 30 to 45 days, then come back and get ready for next year.”David Hofmans, back on the beat Sunday morning with assistant and nephew Brent Fabbri and son Grant Hofmans, visiting from Kentucky, said Melatonin came out of his fifth-place finish in the Classic “good, but very tired,” after his first race in more than four months. “He had a good mile in him and that was about it.“He ran hard, tried, but couldn’t catch those monsters (Arrogate and California Chrome, who were 10 ¾ lengths in front of third-place Keen Ice in the mile and a quarter Classic). Now I have two horses to duck. Melatonin will have a little teeny breather but we’ll stay here and run at Santa Anita for the Winter Meet.”Addressing the blockbuster Breeders’ Cup spectacular which attracted 118,574 fans on track over the two days, Hofmans said, “I thought it was terrific, great days, great venue, Santa Anita did a really good job. I thought the fans were terrific. The whole thing was great.”Martin Garcia and his agent, Tony Matos, endured a frustratingly disappointing meet with only one win from 46 rides through 22 days, thanks in large part to a separation mandate meted out for several months by Bob Baffert.The drought ended with a bang Saturday when Garcia guided Baffert trainee Drefong to a 1 ¼-length victory over favored Masochistic in the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Garcia’s other win this meet also was for Baffert, aboard Air Pocket, who was dropping from a maiden allowance race into a $25,000 claimer on Oct.20, returning $4.20 as the favorite.“We’re very grateful to Bob for letting us back in his barn,” an appreciative Matos said. “Hopefully, it will last forever.”Gary Stevens was not a happy camper after being fined $500 by California Horse Racing Board stewards for not honoring his 10th race commitment Friday on Mr. Roary. The Hall of Fame rider was fulfilling a prior obligation, that of holding a Breeders’ Cup media conference following his Distaff victory on Beholder in the previous race.In the nine Breeders’ Cup races run yesterday, only one American-born jockey won, Mike Smith aboard Finest City in the Filly & Mare Sprint and on Arrogate in the Classic.Smith extended his lead for all-time Breeders’ Cup victories to 25 with three wins over the weekend. His mounts earned $5,345,345 elevating his record total to $34,280,605, more than $11 million over his closest pursuer, John Velazquez.Smith also won his third Bill Shoemaker Award presented to the most outstanding jockey in the Breeders’ Cup Championships. He previously won in 2012 and 2013, also at Santa Anita.There were six winning Pick 6 tickets Saturday, each worth $292,423.20, thanks to a two-day carryover of $511,261 and an influx of $4,053,425 in fresh money on Saturday. Philip D’Amato5392517%30%$499,355 Jamie Theriot615258%20%$223,869 Victor Espinoza4168415%44%$887,895 FINISH LINES: Joe Talamo took off his scheduled mounts today to spend time at Huntington Memorial Hospital with his wife, Elizabeth, who gave birth to a son, Vincent James, at 10:20 Sunday morning. The bouncing baby boy weighed in at seven pounds, seven ounces and was 20 inches long . . . Today’s fourth race is named the Happy Trails Junior Hungerford in honor of Hungerford retiring after 42 years on the starting gate crew . . . Rafael Bejarano has been suspended three racing days (Nov. 13, 17 and 18) for causing interference on Kona Dream in the first race on Oct. 30 . . . Former trainer Paco Gonzalez was a visitor during Breeders’ Cup weekend.PHOTO COURTESY OF BREEDERS’ CUP / ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE  Doug O’Neill9015121717%49%$830,581 Richard Baltas671212718%46%$673,165 Bob Baffert38128432%63%$1,038,880last_img read more